Organizations Aim For Voter Participation


Stoughton City Hall is one of Stoughton’s four voting locations.


Millions of voters across the country will cast their ballots for a slew of local, state, and federal candidates Nov 8. Wisc. will elect a Governor and United States Senator, among many others. Some may say voting can be hard and complicated to understand, so organizations across the state and nation, like the League of Women’s Voters, are working to inform voters about how, when, where, and why to vote. Susan Fulks is the Co-chair of voter services for the League of Women voters, Dane County.
“The League of Women voters is a hundred-plus- year-old organization […] that was formed with the goal to help women learn how to vote […] and over the years, that part of it, helping people know how to vote, register, and learn about elections, is still one of our major goals, not just for women but for everyone,” Fulks says. The LWV works closely with student organizations like Badger Vote, which is a student-run voting advocacy organization at UW-Madison. LWV and Badger Vote have been on campus at UW-Madison since class resumed in September. They’ve been working to register and inform new and student voters ahead of the midterms this November. The league is also working with high schools and school districts across Dane County.
“[In] every presidential election from 2004 to present, 86% of youth who were registered turned out. […] The biggest thing that turns down turnout is not being registered to vote,” said Laura Brill, founder and Executive Director of the Civics Center, a non-partisan youth voting advocacy organization.
“The fundamental principle of democracy is that people understand and want to participate in their own self-government, to give voice to their values, and build communities and respond to their evolving needs […] Our policies just won’t be as good and as responsive if we don’t have young voices at the table,” Brill says.
SASD ranked fourth out of the 19 other researched school districts in Dane county when it came to 18-year-old registered to vote. According to the Civics Center, 12.7% of 18-year-olds registered to vote that attend SASD. SASD outperformed dozens of other districts in Dane County. The number is far from the number of eligible voters that are registered, 65%, according to the US census bureau.
The Civics Center works with students and school districts to plan and host voter registration drives across the country.
“The most important course of action to prepare Wisconsin for strong youth electoral participation is to register age-eligible youth voters. Students can play an enormous role in encouraging their peers to register. Educators, parents, and community leaders also play an important role,” the Civics Center website states.
There are multiple types of organizations across the state that are working to register and inform voters ahead of election day. Even the state and federal government are working to promote voter registration among students and young people.
Current Wisconsin Governor, Tony Evers is working to encourage and promote the importance of voting, especially among young and new voters.
“The decisions elected officials make today will help determine our future, which is why it’s so important that everyone who’s eligible gets registered and votes in every election,” Evers says in an email.
“Every young person, whether they’re eligible to vote or not, can also get involved in our democracy by talking to the adults in their lives about these important issues and why they matter and then making sure those adults make a plan to get out and vote. […] This is about their future, and they deserve to have a voice and to be heard.”
Wisconsin is one of 22 states—plus Washington, D.C.—that offers same-day voter registration. However, the last day to register before election day was Oct. 19.
There are numerous organizations dedicated to inform young people specifically about how, when, where and why to vote. To learn more about voting you can visit